Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass – 1972

August 28, 2017

Brandy_-_Looking_GlassI love this song – one of the finest narrative songs around – Looking Glass and their 1972 hit, Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).

looking glass fax

  • Elliot Lurie and Larry Gonsky formed the band Looking Glass back in 1969 while they were students at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
  • At the end of college, the band broke up but Elliot and Larry recruited Jeff Grob (drums) and
  • Pieter Sweval (bass) to create the more successful quartet that went on to produce the wonderful Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).
  • Looking Glass released just two albums; Looking Glass (1972) and Subway Serenade (1973). Two singles were released from their first album; one (Golden Rainbow) didn’t even dent the charts while the second (Brandy), went straight to #1 in the US and #51 in the UK!  Their second album featured the single Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne.  It peaked at #33 on the US charts.
  • By 1974, the Looking Glass dream was over. Elliot left to pursue a solo career.  The remaining band members found a replacement and changed their name to Fallen Angels, then Starz.
  • Starz is a heavy metal band – believe it or not – and still exists today performing to a cult following around the New Jersey area.

brandy (you’re a fine girl) fax

  • Released on May 18, 1972, Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) was written by Elliot Lurie and recorded by his band, Looking Glass. It featured on their debut album Looking Glass.
  • Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) reached #1 on the US singles chart and #51 on the UK charts.
  • Barry Manilow’s 1974 hit Mandy was originally titled Brandy. Also released in 1972 by Scott English; Barry changed the name when he covered the song to avoid confusion with Looking Glass’s monster hit.
  • Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) has been covered by Kenny Chesney, Ray Conniff and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
  • Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) lyrics.

brandy (you’re a fine girl) – looking glass – 1972 – video

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Harper Valley PTA – Jennie C. Riley – 1968

August 20, 2017

Harper Valley PTA - Jennie C. RileyOkay, not quite the seventies, but I heard this catchy little song the other day and couldn’t resist… Jennie C. Riley’s 1968 #1 hit, Harper Valley PTA.

jennie c. riley fax

  • Still performing today, as a 71 year old, Jennie C. Riley (born Jeanne Carolyn Stephenson), had her biggest hit with her debut single, Harper Valley PTA.
  • Since the late 70s, she has focused on gospel music.
  • Initially struggling to make any impact on the country music scene, a demo tape of Jennie C. found its way to the desk of record producer Shelby Singleton. He was endeavouring to establish his own own label, Plantation Records, and loved her sound.  Introducing Jennie C. to a Tom T. Hall demo-song (Harper Valley PTA), he produced one of the best-known country music songs of all time.
  • Jennie C. is credited with starting something of a revolution in the world of country music. She quickly became known as much for her sex appeal and beauty as for her music.  While most her contemporaries were keeping a wholesome image by wearing gingham dresses, Jennie C. adopted the typical fashion on the late-1960s by wearing a miniskirt and go-go boots on stage.  Jennie C. later announced that she felt uncomfortable with this sexy persona and reverted to more modest attire.

harper valley pta fax

  • Written by Tom T. Hall, Harper Valley PTA was a 1968 #1 US and Canadian hit for US country singer Jeannie C. Riley.
  • Harper Valley PTA sold a staggering six million copies as a single.
  • Harper Valley PTA saw Jennie C. become the first woman to top both the Billboard Hot 100 and the US Hot Country Singles charts with the same song, a feat that would go unrepeated until Dolly Parton‘s 1981 hit, 9 to 5.
  • It is said of Harper Valley PTA:

The country singer Margie Singleton asked Tom T. Hall to write her a song similar to Bobby Gentry’s Grammy-winning hit “Ode To Billie Joe”, which she had covered the previous year, and which Gentry wrote and recorded in 1967. The melody is essentially the same as that of the Gentry song, but Gentry seemingly was never informed or given any credit by Hall. After driving past a school called Harpeth Valley Elementary School in Bellevue, Tennessee, Hall noted the name and wrote “Harper Valley P.T.A.” about a fictional confrontation between a young widow Stella Johnson and a local PTA group who objected to her manner of dress, social drinking, and friendliness with town’s men folk. Jeannie C. Riley, who was working as a secretary in Nashville for Jerry Chesnut, got to hear the song and recorded it herself and it became a massive hit for her.

  • The song was later the inspiration for a 1978 motion picture and a short-lived 1981 television series, both starring Barbara Eden, playing the heroine of the song, Mrs. Johnson—who now had a first name, Stella.
  • Several other songs in the Harper Valley PTA album also told stories of some of the other characters from the song, including Mayor Harper, Widow Jones, and Shirley Thompson.
  • The classic Harper Valley PTA album cover shows a mini-dress-clad Riley—portraying Mrs. Johnson with PTA note in hand—standing beside a girl, who is portraying the teenage daughter of Mrs. Johnson.
  • Jeannie C.’s recording of Harper Valley PTA won a Grammy for the Best Country Vocal Performance, Female. It was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in the pop field.
  • Harper Valley PTA lyrics.

harper valley pta – jennie c. riley – 1968 -video

harper valley pta – jennie c. riley – 1968 – video from movie

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Must be Love – James Gang – 1973

August 15, 2017

Must be Love James Gang 1973The band that must hold the record for the number or metamorphoses! The James Gang were active from 1966 to 1977, then in 1991, then in 1996, then in 1998, then in 2001, then from 2005 to 2006, then in 2012. Perhaps their most memorable song was released in 1973 – Must be Love.

james gang fax

  • The James Gang formed in the US city of Cleveland, Ohio in 1966. Original members were,
  • Greg Grandillo: guitar, Ronnie Silverman: guitar, Tom Kriss: bass, percussion, vocals, Jimmy Fox: drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals, Phil Giallombardo: keyboards, vocals.
  • The band later featured the guitar skills, first of Joe Walsh of Eagles fame (1968–71, 1991–96, 1998, 2001, 2005, and 2006), then Tommy Bolin of Deep Purple fame (1973–74).
  • Between 1969 and 1976, the band released nine albums and ten singles, having moderate success. Two of their albums went Gold in the US.  None of their singles even cracked the top 50; the closest being Walk Away which peaked at #51 in 1971.

must be love fax

  • Must be Love first appeared on the James Gang’s sixth album, Bang which was released in September 1973.
  • Co-written by Tommy Bolin, the single, Must be Love peaked at #54 on the US singles chart.
  • Must be Love lyrics.

must be love – james gang – 1973 – video

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Glen Campbell (1936 – 2017)

August 9, 2017

Glen C 2Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936– August 8, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, television host, and actor. He is best known for a series of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting a music and comedy variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television, from January 1969 through June 1972.

During his 50 years in show business, Campbell released more than 70 albums. He sold 45 million records and accumulated 12 RIAA gold albums, four platinum albums, and one double-platinum album.

One of the greats passed away todayRead Rolling Stones Magazine’s article here.

Lights – Journey – 1978

August 4, 2017

Journey_Lights_CD_SingleThe first charting song from a band who have been around for over 45 years and are still touring; Lights, the 1978 single by supergroup, Journey.

journey fax

  • When remnants of Santana 60s band Frumious Bandersnatch came together in San Francisco in 1973, Journey was born.
  • Taking a while to get going, Journey hit their stride between 1978 and 1987 when their popularity peaked – their 1981 hit single Don’t Stop Believin’ is the top-selling track in iTunes history among songs not released in the 21st century.
  • While the lead singers may have changed over the years, the band continues to tour and record today.
  • Original band members were: Neal Schon (lead guitar), Gregg Rolie (keyboards and lead vocalist), Ross Valory (bass guitar), George Tickner (rhythm guitar) and Prairie Price (drims). Neal and Ross are still in the band.
  • The band’s peak popularity coincided with the fabulous Steve Perry on lead vocals. It is often mentioned that Randy Jackson was a member of Journey – while that is true, Randy was only in the band for less than two years (1986 – 1987).
  • Journey have achieved massive record sales; two gold albums, eight multi-platinum albums, and two diamond albums (including seven consecutive multi-platinum albums between 1978 and 1987). Added to this are, 18 Top 40 singles in the US; the second most without a achieving a #1 single (behind Electric Light Orchestra with 20).  This includes six Top 10 singles.
  • Journey has sold 48 million albums in the USA. That makes them the 25th highest-selling band in the US.  Worldwide they have sold around 90 million records.  That makes them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.
  • In 2017, Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Inductees included lead singer Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardists Jonathan Cain and Gregg Rolie, bassist Ross Valory, and drummers Aynsley Dunbar and Steve Smith.

lights fax

  • Lights was written by Steve Perry and Neal Schon and released in 1978 on Journey’s fourth album, Infinity
  • Lights peaked at #68 on the US charts. Other singles from the Infinity album were, Wheel in the Sky (Journey’s first single to make the US charts – peaking at #57) and Anytime (peaking at #83).
  • Lights is about San Francisco, but it didn’t’ start out that way. Steve Perry once said:

I had the song written in Los Angeles almost completely except for the bridge and it was written about Los Angeles. It was ‘when the lights go down in the city and the sun shines on LA.’ I didn’t like the way it sounded at the time. And so I just had it sitting back in the corner. Then life changed my plans once again, and I was now facing joining Journey. I love San Francisco, the bay, and the whole thing. ‘The bay’ fit so nice, ‘When the lights go down in the city and the sun shines on the bay.’ It was one of those early-morning-going-across-the-bridge things, when the sun was coming up and the lights were going down. It was perfect.

  • Lights is often played at Levi’s Stadium when the NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers win a home game.
  • Lights lyrics.

lights – journey – 1978 – video

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